National Incident Management System (NIMS)

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The National Incident Management System (NMIS) was developed in the year 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security as a way of providing systematic and proactive approaches for the inter-governmental and private agencies partnership in prevention, protection, responding and mitigating and recovery from critical situations. In addition to planning and logistics NIMS also supports operation, finance and administration  (Office of Justice System, 2009). Further, NMIS acts as a guiding tool that uniformly assist all mitigation and response efforts in the occurrence of a disaster and thus enhances effective coordination on all fronts. It ensures that all NIMS compliant agencies have similar update recovery tactics and that uniformity eliminates confusion in such incidences. It have a command structure in place and also a uniform way of documenting these incidences which includes guidelines for resources deployment, safety precaution to be taken, media communication guidelines, equipment order and the justification for requesting reimbursement of expenses from the Federal Government.

This essay examines Fazzini, M (2009) article and evidence provided to support why Universities/ Colleges need a NIMS. It outlines the benefit the system brings and concludes by supporting the author’s main point. 

What is the author’s main point?

The author points out that campus have also experienced critical incidences in the past years and calls upon all universities and colleges to also adopt and comply with the NIMS regulations for the effective and efficient planning. The author provides directions on how a college or university can comply with the system, train its security personnel while still developing a response plan, test it and ensure continuous upgrade and monitoring. The interested institution should have its top management initiate the universities’ work within the NIMS structure, train key personnel toward the effort, establish an all-hazard emergency operations plan, test the campus’ efforts, and implement continual review of the system.

 The author, further, points out the need for a University to partner with the community members rather than existing in seclusion. He cites the example of the College of DuPage that partnered with three neighboring villages Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, and Winfield and formed the Tri-City Crisis Response Group that started by operating a medical distribution network in terrorism incidences before advancing to handle all concerns that threaten the security and well-being of the whole community (Fazzini, 2009).

Who is the author’s intended audience?

The author reaches out to the campus administration, students, security and all University/College stakeholders to embrace much needed security measures against a wide variety of possible incidences. Further, it also communicates to the Law enforcement agencies, firefighter’s departments among all other emergency services, private and public to join hands and form a united force towards setting up proper campus disaster preparedness strategies.

Do the author’s argument support the main point?

            The author’s argument backs very effectively the main point. He clearly explains the need for a NIMS that is easily altered to be flexible enough to fit every particular scenario or group’s requirements.

What evidence supports the main point?

A report by Illinois Criminal Justice Authority that sought to examine the relationship between local law enforcement and post-secondary institutions in the region identified that these institutions have also experienced critical situations in the past (Fazzini, 2009). Going back to 1966, Texas University is featured among on causalities of mass shooting that saw 46 people dead and others critically injured (, 2009). Just recently a repeat of the same was observed in Parklands shooting where 17 people lost lives when a Gunman opened fire in his former high school (Bethea, 2018). This is just but a tip on the iceberg since such tragic incidences have happened in many institutions of learning not only in the USA but across the world. With increased terrorism as a threat to national security, schools can only be too careful.


There is no telling when or where next catastrophe will happen. Having this in mind and knowing very well that prevention is better than cure, it is paramount, therefore, to set systems in place which will ensure effective disaster preparedness. Campus being places with high populations and concentration of people, they act as perfect targets especially for terrorism. Further, there are people from all walks of life in the Universities/Colleges and some can easily turn against their peers just like in the case of shootings that have happened in the recent past.  All stakeholders in these colleges therefore should come on board and ensure that preventive, mitigation and curative measures are all in place and all persons are trained on how to react on such situations. By adopting the National Incident Management System, they join other agencies and therefore enable coordination in such occurrences. Lastly, NMIS will effectively guide the campus authorities to plan and mange security in the case of big events that bring people together especially in an enclosed place like a concert hall.


Bethea, C. (2018, April 11). Parkland School Shooting. Retrieved from The New Yorker:

Fazzini, M. (2009). The Importance of NIMS to Campus Emergency Response. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 14-19. (2009). An Ex-Marine Goes on a Killing Spree at The Univeristy of Texas.

Retrieved from History.Com:

Office of Justice System. (2009, September). Publictions; NCJRS Abstract.

Retrieved from National Criminal Justice Reference Service:

December 12, 2023

Law Enforcement Military

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Homeland Security

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